Washington's gay and lesbian presence in the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is set to grow again, as the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit (GLLU) adds more police officers to its staff.
Currently, the GLLU consists of two police officers, Sgt. Brett Parson and Officer Joseph Morquecho. According to Parson, the unit has received approval to bring in two full-time officers to be detailed from the MPD. The unit is also conducting a search for four reserve officers to serve in a volunteer capacity.
"With the increase in cooperation and communication from the community, it was becoming clearer and clearer to me that if we wanted to do a good job, we were going to need more people to do that, " says Parson. "I pitched it [to Police Chief Charles Ramsey] and he agreed. "
GLLU advises the MPD on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues, serves on the city's Hate Crimes Task Force, and provides support for investigations and other police matters involving members of the gay community.
Parson says he wants the new positions to help GLLU fulfill the community's needs, and is looking for community members to help review and recruit applicants, particularly for the reserve officers.
Reserve officers are civilians who receive training to work as police, although the majority are unarmed and have no arrest powers. But, Parson says, the positions can greatly increase the unit's presence in all the areas of the gay and lesbian community.
Parson says that as the unit has gained trust from the community, they've seen a continuing increase in crimes reported by gays and lesbians, and hope to increase that level even more with the growth of GLLU.
GLLU is searching for a diverse group of applicants for the open positions, and for members of the community who are interested in being part of the selection process. To find out more, contact GLLU at 202-727-5427, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the web at www.gaydc.net/gllu.